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At local level, Citi cuts not known

April 12, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY

By ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

One day after Citi announced it would cut and shift about 26,500 jobs, a company spokesman estimated the effect in Maryland to be "very minimal."

About 4 percent, or 240, of Citi's 5,900 employees in Maryland would be part of the cuts and shifts, said Robert Julavits, a company spokesman in New York.

Nothing has been revealed yet about what, if anything, will change at Citicorp Credit Services, a Citi subsidiary in Washington County with about 2,400 employees.

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News about specific Citi properties probably won't be released until next week; employees are being told this week what will happen to their jobs, Julavits said.

He said Citi, which had been known as Citigroup, also has a consumer finance operation in Baltimore.

Citi's plan is to eliminate about 17,000 jobs, move more than 9,500 jobs to "lower-cost locations" and consolidate some operations.

Citicorp Credit Services has been in Washington County for about 20 years.

It is Washington County's largest private employer and fourth-largest overall, according to the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission's 2007 Business & Industry Directory.

Citicorp Credit Services spokesman Phil Kelly said last year that the local center is one of the largest of about 30 of its kind in the country. More than 99 percent of the work there is connected to Citi's credit-card business, he said at the time.

Citi expects its restructuring plan to save about $2 billion this year and more than $8 billion in the subsequent two years, according to a statement posted at its Web site.

The company plans to:

n Eliminate layers of management

n Consolidate certain functions

n Increase shared services

n Centralize more of its purchases

n Simplify and standardize its computer systems

Other Citi subsidiaries include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, City Smith Barney and Banamex.

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